Amazon announced last week that Prime members seeking free delivery now will have a lower bar to clear - they'll just have to spend a minimum of $100, as opposed to $150.
It was just a year or so ago that Amazon tripled the minimum for free delivery from $50 to $150.
“We’re always listening to customer feedback and looking for ways to make shopping for groceries easier, faster, and more affordable. As part of that, we continuously test our delivery models to see where we can and should make adjustments. Amazon Fresh delivery orders over $100 in the U.S. are now free with Prime membership. Prime membership continues to be an enormous value and this change will save members even more on grocery delivery fees, while also allowing them to enjoy added savings, convenience, and entertainment with Prime,” Claire Peters, worldwide vice president of Amazon Fresh, said in a statement.
Delivery fees for orders $50 to $100 remain at $6.95 and $9.95 for orders under $50. For people not members of Prime, the charge is between $7.95 — $13.95 depending on the basket size and delivery window selected.
- KC's View:
To be clear, there is a little bit of a shell game being played here. Amazon increases the free delivery minimum from $50 to $150, then reduces it to $100 - still double the original number - and calls it a victory for shoppers.
And this all happens at pretty much the same time as Amazon announces that it is going to increase the cost of Prime video without commercials - which is how we've all been getting it since the service's inception - by more than 25 percent. (No increase if you're willing to watch commercials.)
Look, as Tom Furphy and I discussed in last week's Innovation Conversation, it is important for these services to be economically viable, and Amazon needs to figure out where sweet spot is for all its offerings, making sure that it makes money while providing its customers with good value.
My problem at the moment is that Amazon - just like so many other retailers - appears to be prioritizing the development of ancillary revenue streams that walk right up to the line of exploiting shoppers, who in some ways become the product rather than the customer. That's a mistake, I think - and at odds with Amazon's traditional position that it is not like so many other retailers.